Misogyny is a hate crime

In recent weeks the issue of misogyny has been ever more present in the public eye, with the Sarah Everard case in particular garnering much media attention. Yet, the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, continues to oppose the idea of misogyny being made a hate crime.

I think it is important to note how treating other aspects of society as hate crimes, such as hate crimes against sex workers, has absolutely shown an increase in how serious the crimes are now taken and treated. Not only that, but the trust victims have in the police to actually investigate and deal with criminals also rises when the situation is dealt with as a hate crime. So it is an effective distinction to make, and would certainly, I believe, help with misogyny as well.

This alone would not be enough to truly address misogyny, obviously, with the police already being over-utilised while also having their own problems with misogyny. Consequently, they are not really the best tool to deal with these issues at the moment. However, it would be a step in the right direction, and ensures these issues are not disregarded, belittled, or swept under the rug.

Too often women’s complaints, issues, and the very real threat of physical violence towards women are undermined, underappreciated, and untreated. Women are dismissed as lying, exaggerating, emotional, hysterical, and otherwise ignored.

These systemic problems cannot be fixed by one change, but it would certainly be a start. Women suffer in silence across the country, because they have learned speaking out does not lead to results, and often only increases the dangers for them. Women who do speak out are often harassed, and even targeted for more violence.

Yet this government ignores these issues. Dominic Raab doesn’t even seem sure of what misogyny is, claiming it is wrong “whether it’s a man against a woman, or a woman against a man”. I should hardly need point out misogyny is only against women, not against men, so this statement is simply nonsense, and even if it wasn’t, it would be an inappropriate response to the issue. This is misinformation at its finest and it is wrong for Raab to respond as such, this also proves how women’s issues and suffering of misogyny goes unheard.  

And the eventual reason for not classifying misogyny as a hate crime? This law would mean police resources would be overstretched and they could not possibly deal with every instance this change would require them to investigate. It would simply be too much. This is ridiculous and insulting. Is the violence women face every day so much less important than a host of other things that have been over criminalised? Perhaps if we made sure homelessness and poverty weren’t so liable to lead to police action, police would have more time to spend on the severe and endemic ways in which women are made unsafe in our society. Including of course, by the police.

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August 2022
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